Re-Vamp Your Breakfast Recipes, try a Quinoa Bowl

Why try a quinoa bowl for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 10 essential amino acids, and a high fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of satiating fiber, having it for breakfast will help to arm your body with the tools it needs to get through the day and stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, quinoa is packed with health boosters like zinc, calcium, iron, riboflavin, heart healthy fats and antioxidants that have been found to reduce inflammation.quinoa bowl

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2 bowls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup canned lite coconut mylk + more for drizzling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened dark cherries
1 tablespoon of toasted pecans
1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation:
Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with dried fruits, pecans, + pumpkin seeds and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Chef Notes:  You can use a shelf stable organic Coconut mylk available at Aldi’s Markets. Or you can make your own Almond mylk but that’s for another blog.  Option to add  sweetener of choice,  we find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

#Kidfriendly #addtoppingsofyourchoice #mixandmatchfruitsnutsandseeds #yearroundmeal

Nutrition: 302 calories, 10.3 g fat (4.9 g saturated fat), 99 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 8.2 g protein

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Reduce Inflammation & Improve Your Digestion with Easy To Make Bone Broth


Remember how soothing chicken soup is whenever you have a cold? Well it turns out that broth, and especially bone broth (made from simmering bones and cartilage) really do have medicinal properties. I’m always on the lookout for foods that both nourish and heal your body, and while studying at the Institute of Integrative Health and Nutrition I was turned on to bone broth as a way of improving digestive symptoms such as bloating and pain.

Bone broth is experiencing a revolution right now, and for good reason. It can reduce joint pain and inflammation through chondroitin sulphates, glucosamine, proline, arginine, and glycine which all have anti-inflammatory effects. It promotes strong, healthy bones through high amounts of calcium, magnesium, and additional nutrients that play an important role in healthy bone formation, and promotes healthy hair and nail growth thanks to the gelatin in the broth. It may even help you sleep better due to the calming effects of glycine. Wow. No wonder superstar Kobe Bryant is drinking it daily and it’s even gained a cult following in NYC!

Another important component of both broths are that they are rich in Humic + Fulvic minerals! What are those you ask and why should I want them?
Research is just beginning to show us the important role that fulvic minerals play and the information is amazing! These minerals like others support the body in a variety of ways including cellular health, brain health and digestion by helping the body absorb nutrients from food.
In a perfect world, our food would naturally contain high levels of minerals from the soil, but this is not usually the case with our modern food supply.

Ready to try this out? You can make bone broth at home (recipe below!) by simmering chicken, beef, or pretty much any type of bones in water for 6+ hours. At Intelligent Gourmet we use this recipe as a base in most of our stocks and it’s just plain delicious! No single theory of health is right for everyone, but we’ve seen bone broth work well for some people and not cause adverse symptoms for anyone, therefore we feel it’s safe to approve as a food that promotes digestive health.
Intelligent Gourmet’s Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

4-5.5 lbs. of Beef or Chicken bones (including joints, knuckles, necks etc.)
2 gallons Cold Water or enough to cover your bones (Why cold water? On a chemical level, it actually promotes the extraction of protein, helping to up the nutrient quotient of the stock.)
1 large Onion, coarsely chopped
2 Carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 stalks of Celery, coarsely chopped
4 cloves of Garlic, peeled
2 Bay Leaves
2 Tbsp of Vinegar* (such as Bragg’s Raw Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 bunch of fresh Parsley
Optional: Thyme + Rosemary (I like to add thyme, bay leaf, and whole peppercorns, with maybe a sprig or two of rosemary. If you’re adding herbs and veggies to the broth, be sure to add them toward the end of cooking, especially if you’re doing a marathon stock making session.)

*A Note on Vinegar: This is not an optional ingredient. Not only is it ideal to combine fats with acids like vinegar, when it comes to making broth the goal is to extract as many minerals as possible out of the bones into the broth water and vinegar really helps to leech all those valuable minerals out of the bones. Bragg’s raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice as it’s unfiltered and unpasteurized.

Preparation

In a large stockpot, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to-low and simmer for 6 to 24 hours (the longer you simmer it, the more intense the flavor). Add water as needed to keep ingredients submerged. Strain stock into a clean pot or heatproof plastic container and discard solid ingredients. Let cool and refrigerate overnight. Leave the solidified fat on the top while storing as the fat acts as a protective layer and delays the formation of bacteria. Immediately prior to use, bring the bone broth to a gentle boil. Makes about 12 cups.

You can use this broth as a base for soups like we do at Intelligent Gourmet, or you can drink it straight as a restorative concoction.

Interested in learning more about foods that promote healthy digestion? Here are a few I can recommend:

Bananas
While all fruits and vegetables are generally good for digestion, bananas in particular are great because they don’t irritate the stomach. That’s why they’re part of the “BRAT Diet” (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, dry Toast), which has been suggested for folks suffering from vomiting or diarrhea.

Water
Water (which most people do not drink enough of) is excellent for the digestive process as it helps move things through the intestines. Drink an extra glass of water in the morning and evening, or carry a refillable water bottle that you can sip from throughout the day.

Ginger, Turmeric, Peppermint
Spices and herbs like ginger, turmeric and peppermint are great for settling an upset stomach. Try drinking ginger or peppermint tea, or sucking on a peppermint lozenge.

Yogurt, Kefir, Sauerkraut, Kimchi
Probiotic-containing foods like yogurt are good for the digestive system because they contain good bacteria that crowds out any bad bacteria that you may have in your gut. You want to look specifically for foods that contain live bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kimchi.

Asparagus, Oats, Onions, Lentils, Whole Grains
Prebiotic foods like asparagus contain a type of fiber that probiotics feed off of to multiply, so it’s good food for your good bacteria. Prebiotics are found in foods such as asparagus, onions, lentils and whole grains.

Soup

Need an Energy Boost? Try this Chia Juice!

Chia Juice Health Benefits

Did you know that “chia” is the ancient Mayan word for “strength”? If that doesn’t deserve its own workout drink, I don’t know what does. But don’t buy one from the store – they’re loaded with sugar! Here’s what you need to know about chia seeds, including a delicious healthy recipe for a refreshing juice!

5 Fun Facts About Chia Seeds

  1. Chia seeds contain more Omega-3s than salmon, gram for gram.
  2. High fiber and protein content makes you feel full longer and slows the metabolism of sugars.
  3. Nicely balanced amino acids make the protein easy for our bodies to use.
  4. Contain 4 nutrients that work together to maintain good bone health: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and protein.
  5. Lowers blood pressure and inflammation.

Chia seed drinks are quickly trending in high-end health food stores, but like most mass-produced bottled beverages, they’re high in sugar. I love adding chia seeds to my juices and smoothies for their healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium since the combination keeps your blood-sugar even for hours. Hello steady energy! While you can add chia seeds to anything, I love this refreshing, ultra-hydrating recipe.

Minty-Fresh Energy Boost Juice

  • ½ lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • Handful of romaine, arugula, or watercress
  • Handful of mint
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • ½ green apple

3 Simple Creamy Vegan Winter Soups

Broccoli Soup With Cream

It’s officially the Winter Holidays! And while Tampa remains a stubborn balmy 70 degrees, we’re almost dipping into the 60s this week. If you’ve lived around here long enough, I’m sure you’ll agree: It’s hat and coat time! But not only do we crave our winter wardrobes when the weather turns chilly (read: Less than 75), we crave soothing hot comfort foods. Here are three of my favorite hot soup recipes made vegan, low-calorie, and extra delicious. Oh, and the best part: They’re all major cancer-fighters!

You’ll definitely need an immersion blender…

All recipes serve 3-4 (or 2 if they want seconds!)

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

  • 1 head of cauliflower and 1 head of broccoli, steamed
  • 1 Tb Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • Add 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/4th tsp grated nutmeg
  • Vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-Vegan options: Garnish with plain Greek yogurt or a sprinkle of extra sharp cheddar cheese.

Directions:

In a pot, saute 1 chopped onion until well browned in Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Using an immersion blender, blend cauliflower, broccoli, and onion mixture together, adding vegetable broth until desired soup consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh parsley, or non-vegan alternatives.

Vegan Mushroom Soup

Vegan Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 1 Tb EVOO
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 lbs mushrooms
  • 1 Tb dry sherry (or white wine)
  • 1 russet potato or 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
  • Several sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves only, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of grated nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • To add depth of flavor, try adding a dash of balsamic vinegar!

Directions

Saute onion with olive oil in a pot until caramelized, add garlic. Deglaze with dry sherry and add mushrooms and potatoes. Add herbs and spices. Cook down until mushrooms are deeply browned (not burnt!) and potato pieces are soft. Immersion blend until soup has reached a desirable consistency. Since mushrooms produce a lot of moisture while cooking down, you may not need any additional vegetable stock, which is why it’s omitted. If extra moisture is required, use vegetable stock or white wine. Salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme (yep, just like the song says!).

vegan creamy tomato soup

Vegan Tomato Soup

  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked for a few hours beforehand
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 14.4 oz cans stewed tomatoes (or 4.5 cups)
  • 1/4 c coconut milk
  • Fresh basil, chopped with some more for garnish
  • Sugar, salt and pepper to taste (yes, sugar!)
  • Pepitas (optional garnish)

Directions

In a pot, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until they are soft. In a 2-cup measure (or deep pot – whatever you have handy), use your immersion blender to blend the cashews with 1/2 cup water until it’s creamy. Add into the onion/garlic pot with stewed tomatoes, basil, and coconut milk, and blend until creamy. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Add sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with garlic bread, or garnish with pepitas.

Summertime Smoothies Are Here!

 

Watermellon Smoothie

Ice-cold blended smoothies made with the freshest ingredients and raw nut milk – it’s the chilly treat that our Tampa summer demands! Have you seen our debut smoothie menu?

smoothie image

While these ingredients are more than enough to make your mouth water, their health benefits go far beyond simply tasting great.

tropical island

Tropical Island: A Smoothie Stunner

Did you know that coconuts and coconut milk have fatty acids that help with weight loss? Coconut has also been linked to improving immune system function, reducing the risk of heart disease, and improving the health of skin and hair. Blackberries, of course, are packed with cancer-fighting and free-radical-quelling antioxidants; lime has vitamin C; and kefir has probiotics that aid digestion – but the real surprise in this smoothie is the pineapple. Pineapple is anti-inflammatory and is a rich source of beta-carotene (which helps keep your vision healthy).

Pink Smoothies # 1

Pink Drinks Detox: The Good Mood Smoothie

Beets are packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber, iron, beta-carotene, folic acid, and have even been called “nature’s viagra.” If that’s not enough to cheer you up, the good fats in avocado will stabilize your blood sugar and give your brain what it needs to see the world sunny-side up. And strawberries make everyone happy (well, everyone who’s not allergic!).

summerbliss

Summer Bliss Smoothie: The Hangover’s Over

You need electrolytes and potassium, stat! Hangovers are no fun, but the combo of bananas, flax and strawberries will beat back your boozy-blues with everything you need to face the day (and the light, and the noise…).

Stay tuned for more of our smoothie highlights!

 

The Superfood That’s Ahead of its Time: Camel Milk

health benefits camel milk

Camel milk is hard to come by, unless you live in an Amish community or are flying to Dubai sometime soon. Yet the demand for it is increasing, especially by parents of autistic children, diabetes sufferers, and those with auto-immune disorders. Why? Well, because it has the potential to substantially improve – if not cure – all three. It’s really amazing stuff.

Camel MilkWith far less fat than cow’s milk, more iron and vitamin C, and antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, camel milk is the healthiest milk out there (next to your own mother’s milk!). Parents (and nutritionists) of autistic children are posting anecdotal evidence all over the internet of how drinking raw camel milk is improving their children’s interactions and engagement. New studies are showing the potential for camel milk to treat auto-immune conditions, diabetes and food allergies. Lactose intolerant? No problem – you can still drink camel milk!

However, these health benefits are from raw milk, which many states don’t allow to be sold. And, there are very few camel dairies around, so don’t expect to see camel milk in stores near you anytime soon. But you can order online (really, what can’t you order online?!). If you’d like to try camel milk for yourself, camel milk experts recommend buying frozen raw milk (not powdered) for the most health benefits. You can find it with a quick search online.

Special thanks to Oasis Camel Dairy in Ramona, California for their camel models! 

Oasis Camel Dairy camel

 

3 Grocery-Bought Superfoods You Can Grow in Your Garden

Heart-healthy Tomatoes

Did you know that you can take some of the delicious vegetables you buy at the grocery store or farmer’s market and plant them in your own back yard? The trick is knowing which will grow true, and which you should just enjoy eating. If you’ve ever planted an apple seed, you’ll know that the Red Delicious you were expecting turned out to be neither red, nor delicious! In fact, many fruits won’t grow true or won’t grow at all because they’re hybrids. However, if you know where to look, your grocery store or local farmer’s market is a goldmine of viable seeds. Here are 3 superfoods you can buy at the grocery store and grow.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Anything that says “Heirloom” will grow true, and heirloom tomatoes are the most delicious tomatoes you will ever eat! While there are many ways to grow tomatoes from fresh seeds (and many, many different philosophies), I say just scoop the “goop” out of your tomato and plant it in good soil in a sunny location. Keep the seeds moist, and let our warm weather and Florida sun do the rest. Once they sprout, separate them to about 2-3 feet apart. Once they’re growing, don’t over water!

Dried Beans

The dried beans you find in grocery store bins are identical to what you’d find in a seed packet – however, they may have been sitting on the shelf a while, reducing their viability. Plant more seeds than you want plants to increase the likelihood that you’ll have all the beans you want, and thin if necessary. Beans hate to be transplanted, so plant them directly in the soil about 1-inch deep, and 6-inches apart, near a trellis or cage so they can climb.

Quinoa

Yes, the “It” Superfood of the decade is easy to grow in your own backyard! And, it’s an attractive plant too. Plant your seeds in full sun now – before the end of May – for best results. These plants get quite tall, so space them out 10-inches apart and plant 1/4-inch deep. Best part: while you wait for the flowers and seeds to sprout, bloom, and dry, you can harvest some of the leaves. They’re edible!

What won’t grow:

Anything that is a hybrid or requires grafting to grow true (most fruit trees and melons), or foods that have been frozen, roasted, or pre-sprouted (yep, that sprouted wheat won’t grow!).

Locally Grown: 4 Fab Florida Spring Superfoods

Kauai farmer's market

We’re lucky in Florida – our growing season is year-round for many fruits and vegetables, which means we can eat locally all the time! But, even in our agriculturally blessed state, Spring is a special time of year with some extra special Super Foods to offer.

1. The Ataulfo mango is the creamiest, least fibrous, and most delicious mango out there – and it hits its peak from March through July. But, don’t be too sad if you see more Haden mangoes than Ataulfos – they’re both wonderful. Mangoes are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and vitamin C, and you can even use them as a light all-natural facial peel.

2. Key limes aren’t just great in cocktails and in pie – they make a delicious and healthy smoothie too. Limes, and lemons, help your body chemistry become alkaline, and contain flavonoids that fight cancer. And, of course, they are high in vitamin C. Try combining:

  • 2 Tb key lime juice
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/4th tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • with stevia to taste
  • blend with four ice cubes.

3. Blueberries start emerging in Florida from April through June, bringing with them lots of antioxidants.

4. Cantaloupe is high in beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is vital for healthy skin, which makes cantaloupe the ultimate look-good food!

Drinking for Medicinal Purposes: 5 Teas For Whole-Body Health

chai masala health benefits

We all know that green tea and black tea are full of antioxidants, but other teas are often overlooked for their health benefits and medicinal value. Here are four of my favorite herbal teas, and one tea that’s all spice!

Sleep well with Chamomile

Chamomile tea has been used medicinally since ancient Egypt and has gained a reputation throughout the centuries for helping to ease cramps, lower fevers, speed healing time from colds, and of course, to help people relax and sleep better. Some studies even show chamomile protecting against cancer cell growth.

Get a beauty boost with Rooibos

Rooibos tea is high in vitamin C and antioxidants, but its claim to fame is its power to help the skin fight signs of aging and common skin issues, like eczema, wrinkles and acne.

Focus with Lemon Balm

The problem with caffeinated beverages is that alertness comes with a cost: increased anxiety. With lemon balm, studies have shown that a 600 mg dose boosts your mood, increases the feeling of calm, and helps you stay alert. In fact, some studies indicate that lemon balm might help calm and improve brain function in Alzheimer’s patients.

Ease your digestion with Dandelion Tea

Some diets include drinking pitchers full of dandelion tea to help you lose weight. You will lose weight, or at least water weight. It’s a laxative! Dandelion tea’s health benefits also include decreasing inflammation, calming upset stomachs, easing gas pains, and aiding digestion in general.

Support whole-body health with Masala Chai

Masala chai is as close to a magic tonic as you can get – and it’s delicious! Real masala chai includes some of the best medicinal spices out there, combined with antioxidant-rich black tea and milk. Just be sure that the masala chai you buy gets its flavor from real ingredients and not artificial flavors and added sugar. Spices include:

  • Cardamom – cleanses kidneys, supports urinary tract health, and improves digestion.
  • Cinnamon – Lowers bad cholesterol, regulates blood sugar, anti-fungal.
  • Cloves – antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, and antiseptic. They also improve the metabolism.
  • Ginger – prevents and manages stomach ulcers, anti-inflammatory, stimulates blood circulation, and protects against cold and flu.
  • Black pepper – a powerful antioxidant and antibacterial (especially helpful against respiratory conditions).

 

 

6 Reasons to Jump on the Turmeric Trend

Health benefits of turmericWhen mixologists start making cocktails out of something, you know it’s officially become a trend, and turmeric is right there. It’s been featured on NPR as “the new green tea,” and on Dr. Oz as the cure for seasonal depression (just as effective as anti-depressant medications, without the side effects). The health benefits of turmeric span thousands of years and dozens of studies. Are you ready for the new Super Food?

“It’s literally plant medicine!” – Dr. Oz

Turmeric has been used medicinally for almost 4000 years to cure everything from eczema to allergies, and even stopping poison in its tracks.

In Western medicine, turmeric hasn’t been studied nearly as extensively as it should be, but what they’ve found so far is nothing short of amazing.

6 Scientifically Backed-Up Health Benefits of Turmeric 

  • A powerful anti-inflammatory, used for arthritis relief, bladder infections, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis to name a few. And, it’s better for you than Aspirin.
  • A powerful antioxidant which can prevent infection and cancer growths.
  • A study showed that turmeric, when combined with chemotherapy, makes the chemo more potent while decreasing side effects.
  • An effective antibacterial (but if you use it topically to treat acne or sores, prepare to turn yellow!).
  • A liver-cleanser – Curcumin, the main component of turmeric, improves liver function, allowing the liver to get rid of bad cholesterol.
  • New studies have shown Turmeric may be able to prevent Alzheimer’s, and slow its progression.

At Intelligent Gourmet, we often put turmeric in with our fresh juices. Come by and try! Apparently, everyone is doing it (or soon will be!).